Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just another day in Liberia!

Today is Training Day I. The observations and meeting with Mrs. Allen, the vice-principal, went quite well. The teachers are excited and their expectations of a good quality training are high. I have no doubt this training will meet their expectations. Emmalee and Phylis are really quite an amazing team to watch as they work together!

Our fourth team member, Brenda, joined us at Lott Carey School yesterday and this morning she and I will tour the school with Superintendent Emile Sam-Peal. Brenda is an experienced journalist and we will be accompanied by a videographer so there will be good film of where we have been and what we are doing.

Some are wondering about the food. We have been well taken care of with the home economics teacher's wonderful meals. Each day around noon people bearing lage platters of food appear and we are treated to tasty rice of different types, greens, fish and or chicken and fresh fruit. Yesterday was a smoked chicken dish and fluffy, perfectly seasoned rice with vegtables. Greens and rice are the staples of the Liberian diet and palm oil is the main cooking oil. The greens are potato greens and collard greens. Both are often cooked with fish and/or chicken together in the same pot to be mixed with rice as one chooses. Delicious food. Yesterday's smoked chicken is a recipe I hope to bring home to Browntown. Emile would like it with peanut butter pie (attention, Alice!) he says.

Generally speaking, children in Liberia have a diet that is deficient in calcium and protein as well as some other nutrients. Phylis, Emmalee and I have wondered about the effect of this diet on child development. The lack of protein and calcium, particularly, must have an effect on little growing bodies. It has not affected their beauty or their enchanting little personalities, however!

Will post pics as the Internet seems to be on good behavior at the moment.


  1. What a blessing to know that you are making a positive difference in the lives of so many, for generations to come. There is a song that reads "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let shine...everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine...". You are all indeed shining lights, going where you must to make this world a better place.

    Look forward to seeing more pictures!


  2. You are right to consider the effects of poor nutrition on the kids in Liberia. Stunting is very common there--as the body slows the growth due to lack of nutrient-rich caloric intake. Often kids are not given protein-rich foods...only the men think they need the meat/proteins. Ah, the confusion!

    Not only do their bodies suffer, but so do their brains if they do not get adequate nutrition!

    It is MY opinion that the school systems there would be very wise to bring in health/nutrition/sanitation curriculum into all the schools for the middle to highschool grades. Many kids do not go on to complete highschool because of the expense and/or pregnant girls, so getting it taught in lower grades might be good priority. Especially using local foods, rather than discussing from our western mindset.